Hi, my name is Lauren and I have a mayonnaise aversion. Maybe it’s the way that so many restaurants and food establishments tend to abuse it, piling it on sandwiches and in tuna salads in ice cream scoop proportions. Or, perhaps it's the way it smells after being left sitting around for a while. I don’t know how or why it started, but the idea of plain ole mayo on anything absolutely repulses me. Yet, so many dishes call for it, especially during the summer… so what’s a girl to do? The answer is simple, cutiepies: sub it out for something more delicious. From blue cheese to Greek yogurt to Caesar dressing the possibilities for creating creamy flavors without yucky mayo are endless, and my chicken salad is but one example.
Every summer, my girlfriends and I take at least one ladydate to the beach and I have been forbidden from making the trek to Long Island without this dish in hand. Not only is this delicious, light and filling, but it is an excellent use of leftover chicken as well.
- ½ cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
- ½ -1 cup Blue Cheese Dressing (to taste)
- ½ cup Dried Cranberries
- ½ cup Diced Red Onion
- ½ cup Diced Celery
- 3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts or Thighs (NOTE: you can substitute the leftover chicken for this step.)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning (to taste)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
NOTE: If using already prepared chicken, you can skip steps 1-5
1. Brush a grill pan or cast iron skillet with the olive oil
2. Heat the pan on medium high heat.
3. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with cajun seasoning. If the breasts or thighs are overly thick and won’t lay flat, butterfly them so that they cook evenly and will be easier to slice.
4. Place each of the chicken breasts in the pan to brown both sides.
5. Once the chicken has browned and cooked through, remove it from the heat, and allow it to cool on a plate or cutting board.
6. When the chicken is cool, chop it into small cubes. If you don’t trust your knife skills, use a pair of kitchen sheers to chop it into small pieces.
7. In a large bowl, mix together the cubed chicken, diced vegetables, dried cranberries, and blue cheese crumbles.
8. Once your ingredients are nicely mixed together, begin to add the blue cheese dressing. The goal is to add enough to coat the dry ingredients, but not so much that your mixture becomes soupy or runny.
9. Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to an hour before serving. This salad goes perfectly as a spread for crackers or toast points, as a sandwich, or served alone with a fork.
Enjoy and remember to always #KeepItCute!